SPYRI, Johanna

(1827 - 1901)
“I would rather be with my grandfather on Alp than anywhere on earth.”

Born in Hirzel, a rural village in Switzerland,  Johanna Heusser married Johann Spryri when she was 25 and moved to Zurich.   Here she started to write about the countryside she had left behind, her first story A Leaf of Vrony’s Grave appearing anonymously in 1871 followed by a series of short stories.  It was not until she was 53 that she wrote her signature book Heidi.  The first Heidi novel, Heidi’s Lehr- Und Wanderjahre (Heidi's Apprenticeship Years) - came out in 1880 and it was only in response to popular demand that she wrote the follow-up, Heidi Kan Brauchen Was Es Gelernt Hat (Heidi Uses What She Has Learned) - which was published the following year. The two together make up the novel now known simply as "Heidi."  The tales were an immediate success, and have remained so ever since, their enduring popularity undoubtedly lying in Spyri’s sympathy with the instincts and longings of a child’s heart, and her passionate affection for the mountain home of her youth. 

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 Johanna SPYRI

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